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VOL. 119 | NO. 76 | Tuesday, May 3, 2005

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By Andy Meek

Developers Plan Front Street Condos

10-unit project adds to hot Downtown building market


The Daily News

A development team is sketching plans for another addition to the bustling condo market Downtown, where the group hopes to build a four-story, 10-unit condo development at the corner of Pontotoc Avenue and Front Street.

Pinnacle Partners of Memphis LLC is developing the condo project on the site of a parking lot next to Guss World Famous Chicken at 310 S. Front. The group purchased property at 301 S. Front, as well as a 12,000-square-foot parcel across the street that will house the development. Don Wallace, president and owner of Horizon Construction LLC, said the developers plan to sell the 301 S. Front property.

The project is still in the design stage, and construction should begin in late July.

High-end finishes. Wallace said units will tentatively range in size from 1,700 square feet to 2,600 square feet. The highlight of the project, he said, will be upgraded amenities, such as 10-foot ceilings, hardwood floors, balconies and porches. Other features likely will include covered parking and exterior masonry finishes, as well as a common area on the buildings top floor.

The units will sell from $190 to $210 per square foot. The building will contain a total of 23,000 square feet of livable space.

The main thing is theyre looking at a higher-end market, so theyre thinking they need to add details and amenities to it to hit that mark, said Jeff Blackledge, one of the projects architects.

Traditional design. Site work has not begun yet, and over the next couple of weeks, Blackledge said the developers will tighten up design elements and nail down final details though the development team already has a concept in mind for the units.

Early on, there was discussion of having it aesthetically very traditional, almost New Orleans-style, with balconies and things, Blackledge said. But at this time, the main thing thats known is were going to put parking underneath the site has a slope to it, and were going to put parking underneath and put multiple units on top of that. A couple of the penthouse units may have river views, as well.

It will be purely residential, and depending on how the parking works, at this time Im not sure if well be able to get all the residential on the lower floors connected to the street with direct access. But for me, that will be the goal, to make sure theres a good street presence with the lower floors.

Pinnacle Partners of Memphis LLC will own and develop the project, and Horizon Construction will build it, Wallace said.

Knowledgeable team. Blackledge joins Woodard Architecture in designing the project a deliberate choice by the development team.

We decided to go with both of them because of Jeffs expertise Downtown, and I have a pretty good relationship with Scot on the other side, Wallace said. So we felt like, time-wise, we could develop this thing and put it together in a lot shorter time frame with both of them being involved.

The property will offer a variety of amenities, he said.

Its going to be secured, with an automatic gate, and we know that were going to do some covered parking, Wallace said. We foresee the interior with nice moldings, hardwood floors some pretty nice amenities and finishes in it.

Bevy of development. The project is one of the latest additions to the mix of condo projects going up Downtown over the next several months. Wallace said the development is a continuation of the major theme of Downtowns condo explosion: more, more, more.

From what Ive learned over the last six months or so, its on a fast-paced track; theres a lot of it going on and theres more to come, he said. It seems to be they dont get them out of the ground until theyve got them sold.

Blackledge, who is involved in similar projects elsewhere Downtown, agreed that immediate need is still strong. Among his current projects, Blackledge is turning the vacant D. Canale warehouse at 415 S. Front into 20 condo units along with developer James Rasberry.

The need is there, plus the location I mean, youre three blocks from the arena, Beale Streets right there, the Orpheums right there and restaurants are within a couple of blocks. My notion is that anything along Front through there has a great deal of potential, just because of its location. And then the proximity to the river if you can get up, then you can get river views, which adds another amenity to what you can offer.


PROPERTY SALES 51 180 16,377
MORTGAGES 21 57 10,144
BUILDING PERMITS 103 665 39,209
BANKRUPTCIES 31 107 7,704